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A mineral occurring usually in three-sided or six-sided prisms terminated by rhombohedral or scalenohedral planes. Black tourmaline (schorl) is the most common variety, but there are also other varieties, as the blue (indicolite), red (rubellite), also green, brown, and white. The red and green varieties when transparent are valued as jewels.

Alternative forms: turmaline.

Crystals of tourmaline when heated exhibit electric polarity (see Pyroelectric,). Tourmaline is also used in the form of a polarizcope called tourmaline tongs.

Origin: F. Tourmaline, cf. It. Turmalina, tormalina, NL. Turmalina, turmalinus; all fr. Tournamal, a name given to this stone in Ceylon.

(01 Mar 1998)

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